Grits are a porridge made from boiled cornmeal. Hominy grits are a type of grits made from hominy – corn that has been treated with an alkali in a process called nixtamalization, with the pericarp (ovary wall) removed. Grits are often served with flavorings as a breakfast dish. Grits can be either savory or sweet, with savory seasonings being more common. Grits are similar to other thick maize-based porridges from around the world, such as polenta and mieliepap. The dish originated in the Southern United States but is now available nationwide. Grits are often part of a dinner entrée shrimp and grits, served primarily in the South.
In the Charleston, South Carolina, area, cooked hominy grits are called “hominy” and uncooked grits are called “grits.” The word “grits” is derived from the Old English word grytt, meaning “coarse meal”.
Grits are prepared by mixing water or milk and cornmeal, and stirring them over heat. Whole grain grits require much longer to become soft than “quick grits”.
Some people serve grits with sugar, while others object to sweetened grits. They are often served with butter. They are served with grated cheese, sausage, bacon, salt and pepper, or red-eye gravy.
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